After a 39-year hiatus, the Miss Republic of the Philippines pageant is in for a grand revival, marked by a P500,000 crown for the new queens.
In a recent press conference at the Manila Hotel’s Roma Salon, pageant organizer Lynette Padolina unveiled the new set of winners’ jewelry pieces, consisting of two grand crowns for the two titleholders, five “working” crowns for them and the three runners up, and two collar accents.
“These are inspired by Filipino heritage,” Padolina declared.
She also said the pageant hopes to “support the dying jewelry industry in Meycauayan.” This is the reason why Mila Imson of Kitsilver Jewelry in the said town was commissioned to design the crowns.
Imson, who was also proclaimed Asia’s Best Creative Designer of the Year in Bangkok, Thailand, earlier this year, said she immediately thought of old traditional Filipino jewelry pieces when the organizers first broached the idea for her to design the crowns.
“The inspiration was jewelry from the 1920s and earlier,” Imson told the Inquirer. “These are patterned from ‘caracol,’ which symbolizes pieces from earlier times,” she added.
“The colors of the stones represent the Philippine flag,” Imson added of the crown, which has a brass base dipped in 24k gold, and adorned with sapphires, lapis lazuli, rubies and pearls.
Padolina said the crowns will only be used during coronation night, and will be displayed at the National Museum afterwards.
“The less-expensive working crowns will be used for official appearances,” she clarified.
Padolina said she was fully immersed in collaborating for the design, which should represent the Philippine flag and the Filipino cultural heritage.
Although brainstorming took around one week, Imson said she only spent one day on the drawing board to come up with the final design.
Rolando Cabalona, a deaf craftsman from Imson’s shop, handcrafted the actual pieces for about six months.
Meanwhile, 1976 Miss Republic of the Philippines Joy Conde said she was happy with the revival of her old pageant.
As the last woman to receive the Miss Republic of the Philippines, Conde will be on hand to share with the current crop of candidates her experiences as a contestant, and as a titleholder.
“There are so many beautiful women now. What is more important is the candidate’s attitude. That will set her apart,” shared Conde.
Twin titles will be awarded during the coronation night—The Miss Republic of the Philippines for a homegrown bet, and the Miss Republic of the Philippines International to a delegate from the Filipino overseas communities.
Padolina hopes to proclaim winners who are ready to become a role model for young ladies by promoting education among women in the Philippines, participating in socio-civic activities of the government, welcoming foreign visitors to the country, and becoming an ambassador of goodwill.
Thirty-five delegates are vying for the titles, which also come with scholarship grants from the pageant’s partner educational institutions.
The winners will be crowned at The Theatre at Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City on Nov. 4. The ceremonies will be telecast on GMA NewsTV on Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. TVJ